NFL Conference Championship PseudoColumn

This week got away from me, which means that I am compiling this column at the last minute with what little time I can spare for it, which means I must keep things brief. Suffice to say, I am in agreement with everyone that the Divisional Round was the best damn weekend of football I have ever seen, and quite possibly the best I ever will see. I say this despite the fact that it left my playoff pool in absolute ruins, but you know what? I don’t care! Watching the Packers eat shit last Saturday night, and watching Aaron Rodgers sulk off the field like the absolute manbaby he is was brought me nothing but joy, even though it cost me a ton of points. And then Brady got bounced the next day! After it looked like he was going to complete the second-most infuriating comeback of his career! I lost 12 points and it doesn’t matter, because this rules! Brady’s not in the playoffs anymore! Neither are the Packers! What a lovely day!

Divisional Round Stats

Playoff Pool Points Accrued: 33

Playoff Pool Points Missed: 46

Differential: -13

Record Against the Spread: 1-3

Playoff Stats Through Divisional Round

Playoff Pool Points Accrued: 62

Playoff Pool Points Missed: 56

Differential: +6

Record Against the Spread: 4-6

All lines pulled from MyBookie at 9:43 AM Eastern Time on Thursday, January 27th, 2022.

My pick for each game, and the relevant spread, is always listed first. Home teams are displayed in bold.

Kansas City Chiefs (-7) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

It’s not that I’m disregarding the Bengals Week 17 win over K.C. entirely, it’s that I’m disregarding it mostly. The Bengals barely won at home and their performance this season has reached new frontiers of unsustainability. No team has any business advancing in the playoffs after giving up nine sacks; I don’t care how many picks Ryan Tannehill throws. Naturally, Mahomes and Friends are far less likely to hand the ball over as politely, or as frequently. And, to the extent the Chiefs’ defense excels at anything, they are more than equipped to handle a quarterback who holds the ball too long, and whose interior pass protection is a but a figment of the imagination.

San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams

Yes, the Rams should win this game, but when you put it that way, it becomes all too easy to float a reminder that the Rams should have won that Week 18 game, too. I’m not saying that the 9ers have the Rams’ number or that Kyle Shanahan is in Sean McVay’s head or flouting any other such nonsense. Winning streaks, even ones that are six games long, are precisely the sort of statistical anomalies that stop mattering the very second they end, and they can end at any time, especially where division rivals are concerned. Rather, I think this game is going to exemplify the chaos typical to any NFC West game, and am therefore inclined to go with the underdog, just to be safe.

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